A Message To All The Annoyed Introverts

A response to introverts annoyed by my annoying introverts post

Posted Sep 21, 2013

Heavens, what a lot of people were interested in my post about ways introverts can be annoying—and a lot of people were annoyed by it. Which is fine, and even great. You don’t post something like that without expecting to churn people up. I'd have been bummed if the post just lay there like a lox. 

I wanted to respond generally to some of the comments on that post.

  • I have absolutely no objection to what has been called the “introvert-positive movement.” Learning to understand and appreciate introversion has been life-changing for me. It has allowed me to harness and use my introvert strengths rather than constantly trying to change myself. What I do object to is the suggestion that introversion is superior to extroversion—and I’ve heard plenty of that. Introversion and extroversion (and all the interesting blends of the two that make us individuals) are simply different, and declaring introversion superior to extroversion is as bigoted as the other way around. Two personalities, both with strengths and weaknesses. I’m OK, you’re OK. OK?
  • All introverts don’t do all the things on my list, which is titled ways introverts can be annoying. This is different from are annoying. Think about it. If you don’t do anything on that list, then I’m not talking to you. You’re just swell. Don’t change a thing.
  • I absolutely defend the right of each and every individual, introvert and extrovert, to be annoying. Again, you don’t have to change a thing. I’m not the boss of you. If you so choose, then go ahead and be the best annoying introvert that you can be. However, if you are doing things that are annoying, then nobody wants to hear about how you are a downtrodden, misunderstood introvert. Also, if you are surrounded by friends and family who are not the least bit annoyed when you do the things on that list, then more power to you. And if you do decide to be annoying, please don't tell people it's because you're an introvert. That a bum rap on introverts in general.
  • Being annoying to people you don’t care about is no big deal. For example. you don’t have to break a sweat showing enthusiasm to the woman down the hall in marketing (you never did learn her name) when she flails her new engagement ring in your face. If you don’t care about deflating her--and you don't have to care--it doesn’t matter how you respond. But it’s a different story with the friends and family whose happiness you genuinely care about. And that goes for every single thing on the list. We get to choose where and how we expend our energy. Always. All I suggest is that you be the sensitive introvert you are and make an effort for the people who matter.
  • If you strenuously object to labels, then this is probably not the blog for you.

Thanks everyone who has checked in and chimed in. Very interesting.


Check out my books, Introverts in Love: The Quiet Way to Happily Ever After; The Introverts Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World; and 100 Places in the USA Every Woman Should Go. Support your local independent bookstore; click here to find an indie near you.